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Remembering 2 teammates of India's last hockey gold medal at Olympics, who passed away on same day

8th May 2021 was a dark day for Indian hockey. The country lost not one but two Olympics gold medallists – Ravindra Pal Singh and MK Kaushik, on the very same day due to covid-19 related complications.

The Indian hockey players celebrate after winning the final against Spain to win the gold medal at the Moscow Olympics Games in 1980. (Source: Indian Olympic Association/Twitter)
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The Indian hockey players celebrate after winning the final against Spain to win the gold medal at the Moscow Olympics Games in 1980. (Source: Indian Olympic Association/Twitter)

By

Abhijit Nair

Updated: 2021-05-09T13:32:40+05:30

8th May 2021 was a dark day for Indian hockey. The country lost not one but two Olympics gold medallists – Ravindra Pal Singh and MK Kaushik, on the very same day due to covid-19 related complications.

Both, Singh and Kaushik, were an integral part of the Indian team which clinched the gold medal during the 1980 Games in Moscow. Now that we look back, the yellow metal in Moscow is special in more ways than one – for it was not just India's way of reasserting its slowly fading supremacy in hockey, but also the final medal in a sport which the the country once dominated at the Olympics.

MK Kaushik

Maharaj Krishan Kaushik played as a right-out in the hockey field and has scored three goals, including one in the all-important final against Spain at the 1980 Moscow Games.

After retiring from the sport, Kaushik took up the role of a coach and led the Indian team to a gold medal at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. He also led the Indian Women's Team to a gold medal finish at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, which later provided inspiration for the famous Bollywood movie, Chak de India.


An Arjuna and Dronacharya awardee, Kaushik also served as an assistant coach to the Indian team which won the gold at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

Kaushik breathe his last at the national capital in Delhi after struggling with a covid-19 induced pneumonia for almost three weeks at the age of 66.

Ravindra Pal Singh

One of the lesser-known names from the 1980 Olympic winning squad, Ravindra Pal Singh played the role of a center-back, who was equally adept in both attack and defense.

A stylish midfielder, Singh emerged from the Uttar Pradesh Sports hostel. Unmarried throughout his life, he retired from the sport due to a spine injury; and worked as PO at the State Bank of India.

Singh, who preferred a private life after his playing days, was 60 when he passed away at his home-town in Lucknow after a two-week fight against the deadly virus.


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